A 12-person board of directors from the NGB, founded in 1920 as a non-profit organization of horticultural specialists, selects flowering and vegetable plants annually based on the following criteria:
- Popularity and appeal
- Ease of growth and care
- Adaptability to climates across the U.S.
- Genetic diversity
- Versatility in the garden
According to the NGB website, watermelons likely originated some 5,000 years ago in Africa, where botanists have found its wild ancestors still growing. They were first documented in the U.S. in 1629 in Massachusetts. Learn more about the vegetable of the year here.
Gerbera is likely a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and Gerbera viridifolia, both of which are native to the southern part of Africa, in particular South Africa. It was first classified in 1737 by Gronovius and named after German botanist Traugott Gerber, who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus. Gerberas’ large flower heads bear petals of pink, orange, yellow, gold, white, red, cream and bi-colors, with either green or black centers. In addition to multiple colors, they also take multiple forms, including Single flowers, semi-double flowers, double flowers and spider flowers. Find out more about the Gerbera here.
Wildflowers are difficult to define, but easy to enjoy. Many wildflowers have been growing in European gardens for centuries, and are loved due to their ease of maintenance. Once a wildflower garden is established, properly chosen wildflowers require less maintenance than traditional landscape plantings. Find more benefits of wildflowers here.
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